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Back to the Future II (or, the best Back to the Future film) is set, mostly, in 2015. It’s full of hover boards, self-drying jackets, and self-tying shoes, and generally seems pretty damn awesome. Well, the film might have got a few things wrong in its projection of the psychedelic and futuristic society we now live in, but we can dare to dream about what the next decade will bring, right?

To celebrate the film trilogy, artist Andy Fairhurst has created “88 MPH”, a triptych of posters that beautifully illustrate the power of everyone’s favourite DeLorean. When you’re done drooling at “88 MPH”, the rest of Fairhurst’s DeviantArt gallery is full of beautiful custom illustrated movies posters.

ivana-baquero-4Another piece of the puzzle has fallen into place for MTV’s adaptation of Terry Brooks’ The Elfstones of Shannara. Ivana Baquero, best known for her leading role in Guillermo del Toro’s haunting 2006 fantasy film, Pan’s Labyrinth.

Baquero has grown up a lot in the nine years since filming Pan’s Labyrinthe, but her youthfulness is sure to breathe life into Eretria, adopted daughter of the Rover Cephelo. Eretria is the more fiery counterpart to the measured elf Amberle, portrayed by Poppy Drayton. Predictably, the two of them form two of three points in a love triangle with the story’s protagonist, Wil Ohmsford (played by Austin Butler).

Eretria is one of the last major roles needing to be filled, but many minor and important roles still exist, including the Rover Cephelo, Eventine Elessidil, and the witches, Morag and Mallenroh. Baquero joins an international cast that also includes actors from Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and the USA.

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The official companion guide for Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series will be released in November 2015.

“The story of The Wheel of Time spans fifteen books, but the fantasy world which that story resides within is more complex and detailed than even those books could relate,” describes the official announcement on Tor.com. “Only a fraction of what author Robert Jordan imagined ended up on the page, the rest going into his personal files.”

For those fans still haunted by their experience with Tor Books’ previous Wheel of Time companion, The World of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, you can rest easy. This is a complete, from-the-ground-up overhaul of the companion guide, unrelated to the previous companion published in 2001, and promises to be much more comprehensive, which only covered the first several books in the series.

Included in The Wheel of Time Companion (via Tor.com):

  • An entry for each named character
  • An inclusive dictionary of the Old Tongue
  • New maps of the Last Battle
  • New portraits of many characters
  • Histories and customs of the nations of the world
  • The strength level of many channelers
  • Descriptions of the flora and fauna unique to the world
  • And much more!

In addition to the above, the companion also promises to “[shed] light on some of the most intriguing aspects of the world, including biographies and motivations of many characters that never made it into the books, but helped bring Jordan’s world to life.”

Harriet McDougal, former Editorial Director for Tom Doherty Associates, was Robert Jordan’s wife and editor, and had a major hand in compiling this new companion. Working alongside McDougal on the project are Alan Romanczuk and Maria Simons, Jordan’s editorial assistants throughout the writing of most of the Wheel of Time. Together, they aided Brandon Sanderson as he wrote the final three volumes of the epic series.

The updated snake and wheel logo is by Sam Weber.

With people like that involved, who’s lives have revolved around the Wheel of Time for nearly two decades, fans are sure to be pleased by the final product. (Let’s just hope the artwork in this edition of the companion is better than the regrettable art included in The World of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time.)

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A beautiful cover for what is sure to be one of the more mesmerizing short fiction collections released this year. China Mieville’s Three Moments of an Explosion is the latest collection from the author of Perdido Street Station and Embassytown. It’s due out on July 30th, 2015 from Tor Books UK.

“[Three Moments of an Explosion] is a wonderfully intelligent and engaging collection featuring stories with sentient oil rigs, flying icebergs and a ladder into space,” says the official announcement on the Tor UK blog. Mieville fans know exactly what to expect of the collection, which is to expect nothing at all.

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Most fans agreed that Robin Hobb’s return to Fitz and the Fool in last year’s Fool’s Assassin was a roaring success. Fool’s Quest is the second volume in the trilogy, and it tentatively scheduled for release in August 2015.

This cover is a fantasy book cover. It looks a lot like the last cover, also by Alejandro Colucci. Fitz has an axe, which is good, and he continues to look older and more grizzled (as Hobb points out in her blog post announcing the new cover!) I like that Del Rey has created a natural progression in the artwork that starts off looking somewhat like YA, before traipsing into full-blown moody Fitzdom. Seems suitable, if you’ve read the books.

Standing atop a pile of broken weapons, the detritus of war, is very similar to the covers that appear on Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire Trilogy, so it’s interesting to consider the difference in posture and emotion of the two main characters. Cocky and victorious Jorg Ancartch, and brooding, sorrowful FitzChivaly Farseer. It’s an interesting contrast, though likely unintentional.